World Events

  • Pope John Paul II signs new Roman Catholic code incorporating changes brought about by Second Vatican Council (Jan. 25).
  • Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 50, political rival of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in Manila (Aug. 21).
  • South Korean Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Seoul apparently strays into Soviet airspace and is shot down by a Soviet SU-15 fighter after it had tracked the airliner for two hours; all 269 aboard are killed. (Aug. 30).
  • Terrorist explosion kills 237 US Marines in Beirut (Oct. 23).
  • US invades Grenada (Oct. 25).
U.S. Events
  • space shuttle, Challenger, makes successful maiden voyage, which includes the first US space walk in nine years (April 4).
  • US Supreme Court declares many local abortion restrictions unconstitutional (June 15).
  • Sally K. Ride, 32, first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger (June 18).
  • US admits shielding former Nazi Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, 69, the “butcher of Lyon,” wanted in France for war crimes (Aug. 15).

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $3,514.50 billion
Federal spending:   $808.38 billion
Federal debt:   $1371.7 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):  
Consumer Price Index:   99.6
Unemployment:   9.6%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.20


Super Bowl
Washington d. Miami (27-17)

World Series
Baltimore d. Philadelphia Phillies (4-1)

NBA Championship
Philadelphia 76ers d. LA Lakers (4-0)

Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Edmonton (4-0)

Women: Martina Navratilova d. A. Jaeger (6-0 6-3)
Men: John McEnroe d. C. Lewis (6-2 6-2 6-2)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Sunny’s Halo

NCAA Basketball Championship
N.C. State d. Houston (54-52)

NCAA Football Champions
Miami-FL (11-1-0)



  • With the introduction of noise-free compact discs, the vinyl record begins a steep decline.
  • Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy wins the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and Tony Award for best play, marking the acceptance of gay theater.
  • Singer Karen Carpenter dies of complications from anorexia nervosa at age 32.
  • More than 125 million viewers tune in to the last episode of M*A*S*H.


  • The Big Chill, Terms of Endearment, Fanny & Alexander, The Right Stuff


  • J.M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
  • William Kennedy, Ironweed


  • Torch Song Trilogy
  • “Crack” cocaine is developed in the Bahamas, and soon appears in the United States. Background: Nationwide Trends in Drug Abuse
  • The FCC authorizes Motorola to begin testing cellular phone service in Chicago.
  • The El Niño phenomenon disrupts global weather patterns. Background: What’s Wrong With Our Weather?
  • Tennessee Williams
  • Joan Miró
  • Buckminster Fuller
  • Jack Dempsey


The Movie “Scarface” came out
(Al Pacino & Michelle Pfeiffer)